3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Our first Oceania Cruise was on the Marina and we were so “wowed” we booked the Sirena to sail 5 months later. We did not come back from this one overwhelmed with a sense to book the next one ASAP. First, the things that were a ... Read More
Our first Oceania Cruise was on the Marina and we were so “wowed” we booked the Sirena to sail 5 months later. We did not come back from this one overwhelmed with a sense to book the next one ASAP. First, the things that were a little less than fantastic The spa deck was very small and hard to find a seat on some days. So, the concierge upgrade was not really worth the money. The bathrooms were very tiny and, we knew going in it was a smaller ship but, if you are on the toilet with the door closed it was sideways sitting. The room stewards were not as intuitive as to what we needed. For example- on day one we had champagne in a bucket that we didn’t drink on boarding as in it was more fun after sail away. When we came back to the room to drink- the bucket was gone and the champagne on the counter. We had to call to get the bucket back. The buffet restaurant was not quick with water, tea or coffee. Most breakfasts we had to flag someone down to get us more. There was link flexibility in changing restaurant dinner times even with empty tables. The good- heck it is still a fantastic line! The food is fantastic and who doesn’t like grilled lobsters. Honestly, the best food you can have at sea. The main dining room and speciality restaurants had great service. The ship is very clean. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We've cruised extensively with Oceania starting with the Riviera maiden season in 2012. We were thrilled to have found Oceania as it met a niche for us that other cruise lines we had tried did not. Unfortunately, the product has ... Read More
We've cruised extensively with Oceania starting with the Riviera maiden season in 2012. We were thrilled to have found Oceania as it met a niche for us that other cruise lines we had tried did not. Unfortunately, the product has declined dramatically over the last few years in so many areas. I won't be commenting on the itinerary in detail other to say it was fabulous! Sirena was aquired by Oceania in 2016 and underwent a fairly extensive drydock at that time to bring her up to Oceania standards. Two months ago in May, 2019 Sirena undewent her biggest renovation ever as part of the much advertised Oceania NEXT program. The ship is gorgeous and absolulely looks better than new. Very impressive appearance. The cabins and bathrooms were gutted down to the steel and rebuilt using the same footprint. Unfortunately, that means standard cabins remain extremeley small and below industry averages for the premium cruise market. Even in the Penhouses bathrooms are VERY small and have poor ventilation. Air conditioning on the ship was consistently a problem - especially in the cabins. The new Oceania beds and bedding are heavenly as are the cushioned lounges with logo clad terry cloth covers. So given the recent refurbishment you would think the Oceania Sirena has all necessary ingredients for a huge recipe for success. Despite all the expensive artwork, gorgeous decor and aesthetically pleasing touches Sirena suffers from a miserable crew which makes her very ugly. That being said, we certainly encounted a number of people on board who were exceptional (cabin stewardess Daniella) and interestingly a few confided in us that they are leaving for Seabourn, Viking and Crystal because "things have gone downhill since NCL purchased us". Many of the crew members remind us of the walking dead. Just zombies doing their jobs - at time begrudgingly. A smile or hello was tough to extract and never seemed sincere. The shore excursions staff and reception staff are indifferent, rude and nasty. Quite condecending actually. Getting a reception staff member to look up and acknowledge you is like pulling teeth and they are clearly annoyed to have to interact with passengers. Preoccupied with other things. Certainly, working on a cruise ship away from family and friends can be difficult for many as it is not a normal life. However, this is the hospitality business. I never encountered passengers being rude or demanding to the staff. Just the opposite. A really nice crowd on this cruise with a lot of kids - mostly very well behaved. Average age probably young 50's. We met many calm, even keeled passengers who lost their nerve over rude treatment on a vacation. A few people I never would have suspected really snapped (not at the crew), by venting to other passengers about their negative experiences and were clearly bothered. Cut backs since NCL aquisition are evident everywhere. Bar service by the pool is quite limited as is the liquor selection (all over the ship). Food quality and offerings have dropped off significantly. On a bright note, Oceania still does one of the best jobs with room service. Bar drinks are expensive if you don't have a drink package and an "honest" drink (think Ruths Chris Vodka Martini) requires a double bringing the price of an "honest" martini that fills an appropriate martini glass to around $27. A few bartenders (Allen and Baptiste) were exceptional, but most were non-communicative, miserable, rude and don't listen. We were the only ones by the pool one morning starting at 11 and no other passengers showed up until noon. I had to go to the bar to ask for an iced tea (I know first world problem) and was treated as if I was inconveniencing the bartender who was doing some cleaning behind the bar. Not a good feeling. Simply put, we didn't feel like welcome guests on Sirena which is unacceptable for any cruise line, but especially for one who markets themselves as better than the rest and premium. We have sailed with this cruise director before. In my opinion he is a lackluster cruise director who fails to set a vibe or personality for the ship. He vanished quickly from his mandatory appearances and it seemed he did not want to be seen by the passengers or mix and mingle. Same can be said of the rest of the social staff on board - I guess the fish stinks from the head and leads by examples (sometimes bad ones). Absent. The ship has no essence or personality which can only come alive with a happy and engaging crew - particularly a social staff that has the ability to take the lead. Over the years Oceania has hired many more Filipinos and Indonesians for what I'm told is 1/3 the cost of hiring a European or South African. I believe these hard working employees are exploited victims of an underground that is not so underground, but right in front of our face and just as unconscionable as sweat shop labor. I had exensive conversations with a fwe crew members who were very open and honest about this issue. Compared to lines like Seabourn where it is not uncommon to have a cabin stewardess who has gone to college to train in hospitality and is fairly paid the Filipino and Indonesian crew are hired without experience, limited English and purely for financial reasons - certainly no fault to these human beings who deserve better, but take the jobs out of desperation. It's not fair to these crew members or the passengers as they are programmed to fail. I can perhaps understand the cheaper labor for mass maket lines, but it is not compatible for a cruise line that markets an ultra premium or perhaps even a luxurious experience to have such a service disconnect. To me Oceania is no different than my cell phone carrier that outsources its calls to the Phillipines because it is cheaper labor. Don't get me wrong - I love the Phillipines and all people. Essentially, my cell phone carrier is telling me I'm not worth talking to a more well compensated and well trained employee in the United States (or elsewhere). Anyone who has experienced these call centers knows it is not a satisfying experience and quite the insult. Likewise Oceania! In summary, if you are looking for a pretty hotel with above average food to transport you from port to port and have no expectations of a "cruise experience" and don't mind being treated as persona non grata Oceania beats the mass market competition - especially when you consider their ships hold 600-1200 passengers compared to 6,000 passengers. There is a benefit to fewer passengers, but keep in mind Sirena has more than 600 passengers at 30,000 tons while Seabourn's Odyssey Class vessels only accomodate 450 passengers at 30,000 tons. So despite the fewer number of passengers one must consider passengers per ton and passenger space ratios. My wife and I just can't get past the rude, zombie, indifferent factor as we enjoy more personalized, interactive and sincere service that should be inherent to near luxury and luxury cruises. It's no fun to be treated rudly and is really irritating and unncessary. Fortunately, we all have choices and for us cruise fanatics there are lines like Seabourn and Crystal that offer this level of service. The beauty of cruising - there is something for everyone and this review is just my two cents. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary however; the two ports I was looking forward to were skipped. The entertainment was awful for the most part. This tour was originally listed as a 21 day cruise but ultimately was changed into ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary however; the two ports I was looking forward to were skipped. The entertainment was awful for the most part. This tour was originally listed as a 21 day cruise but ultimately was changed into two separate cruises a 10and 11 day cruise. The ship was in poor condition for an "alleged" reconditioned ship from the Princess cruise line. So many things needed to still be fixed. The dress code was supposed to be smart casual, no shorts or jeans in the dining room, but this was not adhered to. Since, Norwegian cruise line took over the company, I noticed a steady decline. They need to get their act together. Even though we heave deposits on three more cruises, we will have to seriously weigh this. The only ships from this line that we will go on are the Marina and Riveria. We are so disappointed. The specialty restaurants on the Sirena were disappointing. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Our cruise on Sirena was chosen primarily for the itinerary, which followed the Atlantic coasts of Spain and France. We also wanted to revisit Oceania’s smaller ‘R-class’ ships after several cruises on the larger ‘O-class’ ships. ... Read More
Our cruise on Sirena was chosen primarily for the itinerary, which followed the Atlantic coasts of Spain and France. We also wanted to revisit Oceania’s smaller ‘R-class’ ships after several cruises on the larger ‘O-class’ ships. We were hopeful that Sirena would dock nearer the port cities, since recent cruises on the larger ships required long bus rides from the dock to reach the cities. We also expected that Sirena would be an improved version of the smaller ships, since it had been recently remodeled. The actual cruise was a mixed bag in both areas. We enjoyed the itinerary; some of the ports required a shuttle bus to reach the city, but in Bordeaux, we were docked in the heart of the city. When shuttle buses were required, there were never lengthy lines or long waits for shuttles (as there were on recent cruises on the larger ships). The overall port experience was very pleasant, although our stop in St. Malo (and excursion to Mont St-Michel) was cancelled. We were very disappointed by this cancellation, but it was due to damage to the ship in Bordeaux. I wasn’t really surprised - every Oceania cruise we’ve taken, one highly-anticipated port has been cancelled mid-cruise. As for Sirena, the ship too was a mixed bag. Some areas of the ship have been beautifully redone. The Spa Terrace and Waves Grill have lovely tiled mosaic patterns on the back wall, and the Spa Terrace has been fitted with a wonderful spa – like a smaller version of Riviera’s thalassotherapy spa. The Grand Dining Room is truly ‘grand’ and elegantly decorated, and the addition of the Barista’s/bar at the entry is a nice touch. Other areas of the ship still need some work. The Sirena Lounge is dark, dismal and smells musty. The smell and appearance set a bad tone since this is the first area guests visit when embarking. Horizons was similarly unappealing and usually deserted except for the tea hour. The casino seems larger than I recall on any of the other Oceania ships, but it and the bar area seemed overly ornate and frumpy. And if you do laundry (as I have on every cruise) the laundry room is simply horrible – hot, cramped, dirty and very poorly maintained. Passengers in general did not seem pleased with the cabins, but I can only describe our concierge veranda cabin. The verandas have been very nicely redone – the new furniture is more comfortable and takes up less space. The rest of the cabin was not so pleasant. As expected, the size of the cabin is like all other R-class ships. The closet area seems like the other ships as well. But the vanity is smaller than I recall on other ships, and really inconvenient. The hair dryer needs to be used there, and all electric devices must be charged there (for us, 2 phones, 2 tablets and 2 cameras) and there is simply not enough space on the vanity for all this. This space is also littered with many papers that accumulate during the voyage. It could be helped by adding a vertical file box, but I was told these are only for O-class penthouse cabins when I requested one. Hey Oceania – make them available for all cabins/ships! They’re inexpensive and practical. The telephone also occupies lots of vanity space. It’s large, old and ugly - also useless since there was no directory or guide for the buttons. Couldn’t even call reception to complain!! There have been many negative comments the bathrooms. The shower is small, the curtain is clingy, but we didn’t find it as bad as others have said. We were more inconvenienced by the frequent lack of hot water and water pressure, which seemed to be a problem for many passengers. The bath is very small, especially if you’ve been spoiled by the palatial space on the O-class ships – but it’s what we expected. Be sure to bring a cosmetics bag which can be hung from the bath door. It is a necessity for the small bath! We disliked the new “ultra-tranquility” bed as much as we loved the old tranquilty beds. I absolutely hated the duvet, which was much too hot for summer and so securely tucked in that it was hard to move under it. The pillows were flat and uncomfortable. And the air conditioning worked sporadically – sometimes making the room too cool, sometimes not cooling at all – at the same temperature setting. Fortunately, our cabin attendant Olga was absolutely superb, and provided a light blanket in place of the duvet and fluffy foam pillows. I wish the service in other areas of the ship was as excellent as that of our cabin staff. Bar service was nearly non-existent anywhere. We waited so long for drink service in most venues that we ended up getting out own drinks at the bar. And service in the Terrace Café was just awful. There were not enough servers in most areas, and most servers spoke very limited English. Many seemed to have little interest in helping guests. Getting a salad with dressing on the side was a huge challenge. It was not possible to get whipped cream on a dessert. Almost any request made of terrace café servers seemed like an imposition. Red Ginger was exceptional. The room is the most beautiful restaurant on any of the ships – the addition of windows and stunning décor makes it far superior to the O-class rooms. And the food and service were the equal of any fine restaurant ashore – really excellent. We have never liked dining in Red Ginger on the O-class ships, but it is a super experience on the Sirena, which starts with the lovely maître d’ greeting and wonderful ambiance. Toscana was another mixed bag. The maître d’ there (the fabulous Fabio) also set an excellent tone for fine dining. And the many window tables, especially those overlooking the stern of the ship, make for a very pleasant room. But the combined Polo/Toscana menu is neither as interesting or the food as well-executed on Sirena as the individual restaurants on the other ships. Though the service was excellent, the food wasn’t memorable. And Jacques Bistro? After lunch there, I wanted to write a “Dear Jacques” letter. Jacques Pepin would be embarrassed by the awful food we were served there. The servers were also badly informed and inept. “Veal piccata” was breaded tough mystery meat, covered with brownish gravy and mushrooms. No lemons ever touched this dish. When questioned, the server informed us that this is what “real veal piccata” is like. My ‘fruit de mer’ consisted of three mussels (two of which I discarded because they were still tightly closed) a couple small shrimp and one scallop on a soggy pastry. Avoid Jacques Bistro, and go for the still-excellent surf and turf in Waves for lunch! There’s clearly been an effort to improve entertainment on Sirena. The Gloria String Quartet was wonderful, playing every day during tea and in the atrium before/after dinner. They were all very talented, and also added to the musical productions in the evening. The Sirena Show Band was also a very entertaining group, playing before the evening productions. There was a featured production every evening, which always seemed well-attended. We didn’t stay to watch much of it, but this is the first time we have ever enjoyed entertainment on Oceania. Overall, we enjoyed the cruise, and it generally met our expectations – except for the poor service in the Terrace Café. But we do not plan to sail on Sirena again. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
This was our second cruise on Oceania. We received a lot of press on the new Sirena. We booked a Penthouse SG2 with no specific stateroom. This was a first for us not having a Stateroom; one of their promotions. We were going to be in ... Read More
This was our second cruise on Oceania. We received a lot of press on the new Sirena. We booked a Penthouse SG2 with no specific stateroom. This was a first for us not having a Stateroom; one of their promotions. We were going to be in Europe so all seemed good; bad decision. We did not realize nor did our travel agent, that Oceania advises you of your stateroom the day before sailing. Thus you options to select another stateroom or cancel was not an option. My recommendation would be never to book a cruise without you knowing where you will be. As to the ship, the Sirena is a 17 year old ship and it still looks like it. Other than make all the staterooms smaller to gain more revenue, it is a mystery as to where the money went. The biggest shock was the size of the Penthouse. It had no closets and very limited space to put your clothes. Any cruise over 12 days would be an issue. The bathroom is a joke. You can almost take a shower, go to the toilet, and shave without moving. The width of the bathroom is so small it is hard to describe it. The shower is approx. 3’X 4’ I feel sorry for the passengers that did not have penthouses. On the positive side, the food was great. The ports we visited were great. The disappointment was their decision to stop in a great port on Sunday when 90% of the sights were closed. They stayed there the full day loading ship supplies. Making things worse, is the ship hit an underground cable due to a Pilot error. We had to stay another day in port and miss a great port that was on the itinerary. They offered everyone a $200.00 shipboard credit on a future cruise; they can keep it. I strongly recommend you stay from this ship if you want to experience a great cruise; there competitors offer such better choices Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We chose this cruise primarily because of its itinerary (Lisbon, Porto, Gijon, Bilbao, Bordeaux, Biarritz, St.Malo, Le Havre. First time with the Oceania cruises. The room was small and obviously not completely refurbished, as promised. ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily because of its itinerary (Lisbon, Porto, Gijon, Bilbao, Bordeaux, Biarritz, St.Malo, Le Havre. First time with the Oceania cruises. The room was small and obviously not completely refurbished, as promised. Bathroom was definitely the worst part of it. However, the food was excellent, the staff helpful and entertainment not so bad. The biggest disappointment was without doubt an extra night we had to spend in Bordeaux, due to hitting the water marker while docking. As a result we had to sail directly to our final destination (Le Havre) and we missed St.Malo, for our and many other passengers, the highlight of the entire cruise. As a compensation there was a 2-hour open bar the next day plus 200 $ bonus valid for the next cruise within the next two years. However, we thought this was more of a sales trick rather then a compensation for the "damage" that happened on this cruise. We tried to talk to the reception to get some on-board credit instead, but were denied. Overall, the cruise was not disappointing and we wouldn´t mind cruising with Oceania again, but definitely not Sirena. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2016
We chose this cruise primarily because of its itinerary (Lisbon, Porto, Gijon, Bilbao, Bordeaux, Biarritz, St.Malo, Le Havre. First time with the Oceania cruises. The room was small and obviously not completely refurbished, as promised. ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily because of its itinerary (Lisbon, Porto, Gijon, Bilbao, Bordeaux, Biarritz, St.Malo, Le Havre. First time with the Oceania cruises. The room was small and obviously not completely refurbished, as promised. Bathroom was definitely the worst part of it. However, the food was excellent, the staff helpful and entertainment not so bad. The biggest disappointment was without doubt an extra night we had to spend in Bordeaux, due to hitting the water marker while docking. As a result we had to sail directly to our final destination (Le Havre) and we missed St.Malo, for our and many other passengers, the highlight of the entire cruise. As a compensation there was a 2-hour open bar the next day plus 200 $ bonus valid for the next cruise within the next two years. However, we thought this was more of a sales trick rather then a compensation for the "damage" that happened on this cruise. We tried to talk to the reception to get some on-board credit instead, but were denied. Overall, the cruise was not disappointing and we wouldn´t mind cruising with Oceania again, but definitely not Sirena. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We have cruised on the larger Oceania ships before and were so pleased. We've done most of Europe already but this was a special cruise that featured the wine regions of Portugal, Spain and France. We cruised on Oceania Sirena. ... Read More
We have cruised on the larger Oceania ships before and were so pleased. We've done most of Europe already but this was a special cruise that featured the wine regions of Portugal, Spain and France. We cruised on Oceania Sirena. The ports were ok for the most part. We used Tours by Locals for most of our tours, rather than the costly ship tours. I felt our butler did not go over and above his service requirements. The food was excellent, as usual. I did not feel that the Sirena was as luxurious as the larger ships. It had undergone a refitting a few months back, but it still lacked the refinement of the other ships we sailed on. Although we did not attend any of the evening entertainment shows, I heard from several others that they were not great. I seriously doubt that I would ever sail on the Sirena again, but I still love Oceania. Read Less
Sirena Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.8
Dining 5.0 4.3
Entertainment 3.5 3.3
Public Rooms 5.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.7
Family 1.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.1
Enrichment 2.0 3.5
Service 4.5 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.5

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